Al-Qushayri : Sufi Master and Qur'an Scholar

 Sufi Master and Qur'an Scholar Abu'l-Qasim Al-Qushayri & the Lata'if al-Isharat,
[A5] Hardback - 319 pages,
by Dr. Martin Nguyen,
Published by Oxford University Press, USA.

Description :

This book is the first extensive examination of the medieval Qur'an commentary known as the Latāif al-Ishārāt and the first critical biography of its author, the famous spiritual master Abū'l-Qasim al-Qushayrī, may Allah be pleased with him.

  •      ***Provides the first extensive study of the Latā'if al-Ishārāt,
  •            introducing the historical significance of this work,
  •      ***Provides the first detailed biography of al-Qushayrī,
         ***Includes a map of important authors and works for the
               Nishapuri school of Qur'anic exegesis,
  •      ***Shows Sufism in dialogue of other intellectual traditions
               within Sunnism and beyond.

Written in 5th/11th century (Common Era) Nishapur, an intellectual and cultural crossroads of the Muslim world, the Latā'if al-Ishārāt has endured down through the centuries as an important work of Sufi exegesis. A mystical vision of reality is taught through its line-by-line treatment of the Qur'an as its author was writing as both a Sufi teacher and scholar.

This study fully investigates al-Qushayrī's life and historical horizon and carefully analyses the structure and method of the commentary. The primary aim of the book is to draw greater attention to the other traditions of exegesis that inform the Sufi approach of the Latā'if al-Ishārāt, an understudied feature of many Sufi commentaries in general. In the case of this commentary, scholarly and pedagogical concerns for language, prophetic sayings, law and theology are interwoven into al-Qushayrī's overarching mystical exegesis.

Other important aspects of the author's intellectual identity and education clearly influenced the formation of al-Qushayrī's Sufi worldview and as a consequence his interpretation of God's word. By delineating these other traditions of exegesis mentioned in al-Qushayrī's biography and embedded in his Latā'if al-Ishārāt, we can better appreciate how he and his commentary were part of a wider Sunni historical heritage in addition to the developing Sufi tradition.

Review : This excellent book is the first in-depth study in English of one of the monuments of Sufi Qur'an commentary, the Lata'if al-isharat of Imam Abu 'i-Qasim al-Qushayri. Clearly written and well annotated throughout, this timely study brings to light some important and hitherto unexplored aspects of the celebrated Sufi theologian of Nishapur.---Annabel Keeler, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge.

Readership : Scholars and students of early Islamic Studies; of Sufism; of Qur'anic Commentaries.

Martin Nguyen is an Assistant Professor of Islamic Religious Traditions in the Religious Studies Department at Fairfield University. His areas of research include the Qur’an and its exegesis (tafsīr), Muslim theology, Sufism, Arabic manuscript research, and hermeneutics. Martin received his B.A. in Religious Studies and History from the University of Virginia and then went on to earn a Masters of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) from the Harvard Divinity School.  Following this, he joined the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University where he completed a joint-program Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies and History.  His book Sufi Master and Qur’an Scholar: Abu’l-Qasim al-Qushayri and the Lata’if al-isharat (Oxford University Press, 2012) explores the confluence of Qur’anic exegesis, theology, and Sufism in the life of al-Qushayri, a prominent mystic and scholar of 5th/11th century Nishapur.

Table of Contents :

---Qur'anic Studies Series,
---Notes on conventions and abbreviations,

------Scholarship on Al-Qushayri,
------Mapping the Lata'if al-Isharat across traditions of exegesis,

---[1] The Life of Al-Qushayrī,
------The death of al-Qushayri,
------Dihqan beginnings,
------Shaykh Abu 'Ali al-Daqqaq and the turn to religious study,
------Urban factionalism,
------The persecution of the Ash'aris,
------Exile and return,
------Extensive Notes.

---[2] Sufi Pedagogy and Spiritual Training,
------Al-Qushayri and the Sufi Tradition,
------Competing forms of spirituality,
------From the duwayra of al-Sulami,
------Full circle to Abu Ali al-Farmadhi,
------Extensive Notes.

---[3] The Exegete,
------The Nishapuri school of exegesis,
------The exegetical corpus,
---------i. Tracing the Records,
---------ii. al-Taysir fi 'ilm al-Tafsir,
---------iii. Lata'if al-isharat,
---------iv. al-Tafsir al-Kabir,
---------v. Kitab al-Mi'raj,
------Extensive Notes.

---[4] Structure and Style, The hermeneutics of the Lata'if al-isharat,
------Hermeneutical framework,
------Exegetical structure and style,
------The conventional terminology of exegesis,
---------i. Muhkam and mutashabih,
---------ii. Naskh,
------Extensive Notes.

---[5] Attributions and Exegetical Reports,
------Whither citations?
------The named authorities,
------Networks of hadith transmission,
------Exegesis by report,
------Extensive Notes.

---[6] Tracing the Traditions of Exegesis,
------The threads of exegesis,
------Reading the ascension narrative (Qur'an 53:1-18),
------Reading the disconnected letters (al-huruf al-muqatta'a),
------Reading the Prophetic narrative : Job,
------The readings in review,
------Extensive Notes.

---[7] Legal Matters,
------The Shafi'i madhhab,
------Al-Qushayri's legal commentary,
------Extensive Notes.

---[8] Ash'arī Concerns,
------The Ash'ari madhhab,
------Theological exegesis in the face of tashbih,
------Extensive Notes.

---[9] Spiritual Hierarchies,
------The miracles of the Awliya,
------Paradigms of spiritual hierarchy,
------Extensive Notes.


---Appendix A : The Biographical Records on al-Qushayri,
---Bibliography :-
------Primary Sources,
------Secondary Sources,
---Index of Qur'anic Citations,

This is an academic work published to a very high specification.

Book Dimensions : 216 x 138mm.

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